Marieke Vervoort

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Marieke Vervoort
Mariekevervoort2012.jpg
Vervoort during the Run to walk again event in Tongerlo
Personal information
Nickname(s)Wielemie[1][2][3]
National teamBelgium
EthnicityFlemish
Born(1979-05-10)10 May 1979[4]
Diest, Belgium[3][5]
Died22 October 2019(2019-10-22) (aged 40)
Diest, Belgium[6]
Sport
CountryBelgium
SportWheelchair racing
Disability classT52
Event(s)T52 100m, 200m, 400m, 1,500m, 5,000m

Marieke Vervoort (10 May 1979 – 22 October 2019) was a Belgian Paralympic athlete who suffered from reflex sympathetic dystrophy. She won several medals at Paralympics, and she received worldwide attention in 2016 when she revealed that she was considering euthanasia.

Career[edit]

Vervoort began her career in sports playing wheelchair basketball,[2][7] then took up swimming,[2] and competed in triathlons.[2][7][8] She was paratriathlon world champion in 2006[2] and 2007,[3] and in 2007, competed in the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.[2][3] She retired from triathlons when her condition became worse.[3] Instead, she started blokarting[3] and then wheelchair racing.[3]

External video
Vervoort's gold medal run in the T52 100m event in London, YouTube video

In the 2012 London Paralympic Games, she won the gold medal in the T52 100m wheelchair race,[1][3][7][9][10] and the silver medal in the T52 200m wheelchair race.[3][7][9]

In 2013, she set a new European record of 33.65 in the T52 200m race at Oordegem, Belgium.[11][12][13] She also set world records in the T52 400m at Kortrijk, Belgium,[14] and the T52 800m at Oordegem in 2013.[15]

The same year, while competing at the IPC Athletics World Championships at Lyon, France, Vervoort fell during the 800m race after a collision with Michelle Stilwell of Canada.[16] She injured her shoulder,[3][17][18] requiring surgery and ten months of rehabilitation.[3][17] Her next competition was in 2014, at the ParAthletics IPC Athletics Grand Prix held at Nottwil, Switzerland,[17] where she won the 200m,[17] as well as the 1,500m and 5,000m, in both of which she set new world records.[18][19][20] Later that same year, she suffered another setback. While making pasta, she lost consciousness and accidentally poured hot water over her and sustained second-degree and third-degree burn wounds from the chest down to her ankles.[21]

At the 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha, she won gold medals in the T52 100m, 200m and 400m races,[22] and became world champion.[8] She covered 200 meters in 35.91,[23] which was two seconds slower than her European record, prior to her accident.[9][17]

At the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games, she won the silver medal in the T51/52 400m wheelchair race and bronze in the T51/52 100m.[7][22]

Personal life[edit]

Vervoort was diagnosed aged about 14 with reflex sympathetic dystrophy, an incurable degenerative disease of the muscles and spine,[5] which caused severe pain, paralysis in her legs, and made it very difficult for her to sleep.[7][24] Despite her sporting success, Vervoort said that she was considering euthanasia as she was preparing for the 2016 Rio Paralympics, saying that Rio was her "last wish".[25] She clarified that this did not mean euthanasia would occur immediately after the Games, stating that: "You have to live day-by-day and enjoy the little moments. When the day comes—when I have more bad days than good days—I have my euthanasia papers. But the time is not there yet."[26] She signed her euthanasia papers in 2008.[27] Vervoort also suffered from epilepsy,[7][24] and lived with her assistance dog, Zenn,[22][28] who was able to alert her to an upcoming seizure an hour before it occurred.[7][24]

She died by euthanasia on 22 October 2019.[7][24][22][29][30][31] Her decision was supported by other Paralympians, such as Briton Ollie Hynd.[32]

Writing[edit]

Vervoort was the author of two books, Wielemie. Sporten voor het leven ("Wielemie. Sports for life") (Houtekiet, 2012),[33][34] and De andere kant van de medaille ("The other side of the coin") (2017), about her degenerative muscle disease and its impact on her life.[34]

Honors and recognition[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sage ian Marieke Vervoort ends her life through euthanasia (23 October 2019). The Times. London, England https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/paralympian-marieke-vervoort-ends-her-life-through-euthanasia-ds75q6269. Retrieved 24 Octob. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Marieke Vervoort, athlète paralympique souffrant d'une maladie incurable, est morte par euthanasie". Le Monde (in French). Paris, France. Le Monde / AFP. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Hope, Alan (26 November 2013). "Face of Flanders: Marieke Vervoort". Flanders Today. Belgium. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Paralympian Marieke Vervoort dies through euthanasia". 23 October 2019 – via www.rte.ie. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ a b "Diest - mijn stad. EXPO 100% Wielemie" (PDF). Sportimonium. 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  6. ^ https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-23/marieke-vervoort-dies-by-euthanasia-paralympian/11633210
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Paralympian Marieke Vervoort dies by voluntary euthanasia". ABC News. Australia. AFP/AP. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Paralympic gold medallist Marieke Vervoort ends life through euthanasia". The Independent. London, England. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  9. ^ a b c "Marieke Vervoort is wereldkampioene op de 200 meter". Sporza (in Dutch). Belgium. Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Paralympic Team Belgium". Paralympic Team Belgium. Archived from the original on 6 July 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019
  11. ^ Van Glabeke, Simon (7 July 2013). "Sara Aerts en Marieke Vervoort presteren sterk in Oordegem". Atletiek Nieuws (in Dutch). Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Europees record voor Wielemie". De Standaard (in Dutch). Belgium. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  13. ^ "2016 IPC Athletics European Championships, Grosseto" (PDF). International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  14. ^ "World Para Athletics World Records Women's 400 m". World Para Athletics. International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  15. ^ "World Para Athletics World Records Women's 800 m". World Para Athletics. International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  16. ^ "Lyon 2013 - Day five morning session review". IPC Athletics World Championships. 24 July 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d e "Rolstoelatlete Marieke Vervoort wint meteen bij comeback". Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Belgium. 17 May 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  18. ^ a b c "Marieke Vervoort awarded the National Trophy Victor Boin 2014". World Para Athletics. 22 January 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  19. ^ "World Para Athletics World Records Women's 1500 m". World Para Athletics. International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  20. ^ "World Para Athletics World Records Women's 5000 m". World Para Athletics. International Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  21. ^ "Wielemie zwaar verbrand in keuken". Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch). Belgium. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  22. ^ a b c d Marieke Vervoort: Paralympian ends life through euthanasia at age of 40 Archived 23 October 2019 at the Wayback Machine, BBC Sport, 22 October 2019.
  23. ^ "Marieke Vervoort pakt ook goud op 100 meter tijdens WK atletiek voor paralympiërs". De Standaard (in Dutch). Belgium. 26 October 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  24. ^ a b c d "Paralympic gold medalist Marieke Vervoort ends her life in Belgium". The Guardian. Associated Press. 23 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  25. ^ Paralympics champion considers euthanasia as she announces Rio will be last competition Archived 28 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Katie Mansfield, 1 August 2016, Express, Retrieved 20 August 2016
  26. ^ EDT, Tom Roddy On 9/13/16 at 12:11 PM (13 September 2016). "Belgian Paralympian opens up on euthanasia plans". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  27. ^ "'I don't want to suffer any more'– Belgian Paralympian Marieke Vervoort ready to be euthanized". RT. 25 December 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  28. ^ Eleanor Oldroyd (15 December 2016). "Marieke Vervoort: Paralympian who has signed euthanasia papers". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 15 December 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  29. ^ a b "Rolstoelatleet Marieke Vervoort (40) is overleden na euthanasie | VRT NWS". www.vrt.be. Archived from the original on 22 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  30. ^ "Η Παραολυμπιονίκης που δεν άντεξε τον πόνο – Έκανε ευθανασία στα 40 της χρόνια". newsit.gr. 23 October 2019.
  31. ^ "Marieke Vervoort: Tribute to the Paralympian, who ended her life through euthanasia". 23 October 2019. Archived from the original on 23 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019 – via BBC News.
  32. ^ "Paralympian's euthanasia death 'hits close to home'". 23 October 2019 – via BBC News.
  33. ^ Grobben, Annick (23 October 2019). "'Iedereen moet erop klinken dat ik zo'n geweldig leven heb gehad': Marieke Vervoort, een moegestreden positivo". De Morgen (in Dutch). Belgium. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  34. ^ a b Renier, Hans (23 October 2019). "Marieke Vervoort wilde nooit opgeven: portret van 'The Beast from Diest'" Check |url= value (help). De Morgen (in Dutch). Belgium. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  35. ^ Walsh, Scott (6 September 2016). "Belgian Paralympian Marieke Vervoort considers euthanasia". The Advertiser. Adelaide, South Australia. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  36. ^ Neesen, Hedwig (19 November 2013). "Marieke Vervoort is Grootofficier in de kroonorde". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 3 June 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  37. ^ "Laurens Devos named Belgian Paralympian of the Year". International Paralympic Committee. 19 December 2016. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  38. ^ Het Laatste Nieuws - Marieke Vervoort is Vlaamse Reus 2015 Archived 8 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]